Energy & Environment

Southeast sees gas shortages amid pipeline shutdown

Parts of the Southeastern U.S. are seeing gasoline shortages following a cyberattack that shut down Colonial Pipeline.

As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 8 percent of Virginia gas stations, more than 6 percent of North Carolina gas stations and more than 4 percent of Georgia gas stations were without fuel, according to Gasbuddy analyst Patrick De Haan. 

Other states, like Florida and South Carolina, also saw some outages. 

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, De Haan predicted that parts of the Southeast were likely to be at the greatest risk of shortages because it’s situated between other key markets. 

“The closer you are to the refining hubs, the less of a problem,” De Haan said. “Areas of Alabama, Georgia, Eastern Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia … you’re kind of in no man’s land between two key markets: the Gulf Coast and the New York market.”

The Biden administration also said late Monday that it was monitoring shortages in the Southeast. 

“We are monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and are evaluating every action the Administration can take to mitigate the impact as much as possible,”  White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday temporarily waived a rule in some states that limits what type of gasoline can be sold in an effort to alleviate shortages. 

Gas prices also appeared to be somewhat higher, averaging almost $2.99 per gallon across the country, according to the American Automobile Association. This is up by about 2 cents from Monday and about 7 cents from a week ago. 

Colonial Pipeline, which said it provides about 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel, announced on Saturday that it would shut down after a ransomware attack. It did so to to prevent hackers from accessing its operational technology. 

Since then, it has said it hopes to take a phased approach to reopening and hopes to see substantial restoration of service by the end of the week.

Tags cyber attack Energy Hack Jen Psaki pipeline Ransomware
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